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State Legislature addresses future of education

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What it means for education majors leaving Marshall

The West Virginia House Finance Committee voted to approve a pay raise for teachers across the state. This comes after a week of teacher walkouts across the state and protests outside the capital building in Charleston.

The pay raise would give teachers a raise every year for four years, with the first year having a 2 percent raise and the final three having a 1 percent raise. The original version of the Senate Bill 267 gave teachers a 1 percent raise every year for five years.

Teresa Eagle, the dean of the college of education said she believes the uproar over pay and benefits for teachers comes from the fact that teachers are not paid enough.

“When we talk about teacher pay, even though teacher pay looks good compared to pay for people who haven’t been through a college education, it really isn’t adequate given the kinds of things you have to do and you have to deal with on a day to day basis,” Eagle said.

Eagle said current education students are worried about what they do in the situation of a teacher strike. Eagle said she tries to prepare students for what to do when a teacher strike happens.

“The advice I have given them is that this is not the first time this has happened; it’s not going to be the last time,” Eagle said. “The only way that teachers really have to make their voices heard is to make some kind of demonstration to let people know what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling.”

Eagle said the College of Education tells its current students that students are not to go into a school when there is a picket line.

“We don’t want them to make any kind of a statement about what they’re doing, because they’re not hired yet,” Eagle said. “We don’t want them to burn any bridges. We want them to be able to go back to that school and the principal look at them with fresh eyes, and if they’re going to be hired, we want them to have the very best reputation.”

Governor Jim Justice said public employees, including teachers will not see their health insurance coverage change for the next 17 months.

Kyra Biscarner can be contacted at [email protected]

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